M18x r2 wont boot with drivers

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by Amarthfea, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Amarthfea

    Amarthfea Newbie

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    Hello everyone I have an issue with my laptop and I can't really figure it out.

    Its an m18x r2 with dual 7970m video cards and i7-3740qm and 24 gb or ram running win7 64

    For some reason it green screened on my wife and wouldn't boot. It got to the Windows logo screen and it just sits for as long as you'll let it.

    So I boot into safe mode transfer all my files to my external backup and think. Green screen that's a video card thing so I uninstall the drivers. Boom boots up. Install video card drivers won't boot. Boot with last known configuration boots fine.

    I've tried letting Windows detect drivers, Dell recomended drivers, the drivers I installed when I last formatted the pc. Even tried ati latest drivers.

    On top of this the screen now has vertical lines viwable showing. So is one of my cards bad? Driver issue? Or should I do a fresh format and install and hope for the best?

    I appologize for the length just wanted to give as much info as I could. And I appreciate any info, below in a picture of the screen I took with my phone.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. AaronSV

    AaronSV Notebook Consultant

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    It does sound like a GPU issue from what you are discribing.
    First thing i would do is switch to the Intel HD 4000 intergrated graphics (IGPU) and see if you still get the same issue. If not then it will be a GPU problem
    Next you want to try each 7970m on its own incase one is bad or both might be bad. If this is the case then you might want to replace the bad one or save up and upgrade to a better gpu if possible, I have a 980m in mine and works perfectly.
     
  3. Amarthfea

    Amarthfea Newbie

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    Is there any way I can disable 7970s in the bios and switch over to just the integrated graphics? Or do I manually have to remove them. I'd have to order in some new thermal pads and paste as I haven't done this sort of thing in a few years and I'm sure my old thermal compound is dried out (although I do have some tubes new in packages but unsure if they expire?) But for sure I don't have any thermal pads. So if love to try disabling them in the bios if possible or even in windows if there is a way to force use integrated graphics.

    I have no issue upgrading, I've done desktop mods and custom water cooling rigs but never upgraded laptop gpus only ram and hdds are laptop Sli and crossfire setups 2 separate gpu chips or are they two gpus on a Single chip like the ati 3870x2 and 4870x2 (which I'm sure are acient news now a days)
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  4. AaronSV

    AaronSV Notebook Consultant

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    It would be FN + F7 to enable the IGPU which tells you to restart, but i think you can also do it in BIOS (can't check at the moment sadly)
    Thermal paste I don't think it expires, mine has no end date on it when i bought it so i would guess aslong as it comes out properly it should be fine.
     
  5. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox Undefiled BGA-Hating Elitist

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    If you have an unlocked BIOS you can switch the option to IGFX. That will disable the PCIe graphics and force it to use Intel HD Graphics only.

    Only use the BIOS options for IGFX and PEG. If you see other options, avoid selecting them as they can brick the motherboard.
     
  6. Amarthfea

    Amarthfea Newbie

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    Yup boot up fine on integrated graphics thanks for the fn f7 tip!

    It must be a graphics card. Works fine on that. Suppress one graphics card in the device manager and installed Windows suggested driver. Worked restarted fine. Attempted to update with ati drivers and boom won't boot.

    So they even make new 980m card I'm assuming it's all used stuff. Can I upgrade to anything newer or is it pointless since my cpu isn't the best and this is an 8 year old laptop?
     
  7. Amarthfea

    Amarthfea Newbie

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    I do not have the unlocked bios I might try that later I have the newest from the dell website.
     
  8. AaronSV

    AaronSV Notebook Consultant

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    Don't bother with Dells website, you want the A11 Unlocked Bios made by swick1981 & svl7 dno if I can post the link or not if not please let me know and i will remove it.
    https://www.techinferno.com/index.php?/files/file/93-a11-unlocked-bios-m18xr2-by-swick1981-svl7/

    Best you can get is the 980m single or SLI and the cards are easy to get on Ebay for a decent price now. Just be sure they are not G-sync version (Learned the hard way) Should be a guide on here about the 980m about getting it up and running.
     
  9. M18x-oldie

    M18x-oldie Notebook Evangelist

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    In a dual GPU set up (laptop) most of the time it's the master GPU going bad, as it's used the most of the time, which means the secondary should still be fully functional. You could swap it to the master slot and use it for the time being.

    You should try both cards separately in the master slot!

    Btw, the r2 can go up to 1070 on optimus, which makes it still powerful for most of today's tasks, combined with a 37xx qm or greater.
     
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  10. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox Undefiled BGA-Hating Elitist

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    100% on this. It would be rare that both GPUs died at the same time. The slave is probably fine. You can run just one GPU, or buy a used replacement for the bad GPU on eBay for a small fraction of the cost of replacing both with newer/better video cards.

    If you want to upgrade, you can. But, probably not a wise use of the money considering the cost versus the value of the machine.
     
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